It’s no secret that I love the Maldives – where sands are as white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun shine down on you.
But spending a week in this tropical paradise at one of its many amazing luxury resorts is pricey. Or is it?
One of the best kept secrets from the general population (and the worst kept secret among Hilton Honors points collectors) is the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort. Like most high-end Maldives resorts, it’s got amazing rooms, restaurants, and service. But what makes this place special is the cost-performance ratio (a.k.a ‘bang for buck’).
Booking A Room Using Cash
It’s important to know what the room costs are so we can calculate the best deal. So let’s get into the numbers. In this example I will use a five night stay in a Beach Villa. Why I chose five nights will become clear later in this article. Here is what it will cost if you book in November 2017:
As you can see the cheapest room rate available is $635. Quite a good discount from their flexible rate of $900 but it’s a non-refundable stay. Still, we want to drive that cost down even lower so the Standard Room Reward (95,000 Hilton Honors points) is what we are interested in.
Booking A Room Using Points
When done properly, your Hilton Honors points provide a lot more value at the Conrad Maldives than cash does. How much value you assign to a Hilton Honors point depends on how you accrue them. Hilton Honors is a popular & flexible hotel points program offering many avenues to collect including hotel stays, credit card spending, and purchasing points with cash.
It’s this last avenue that makes Hilton Honors interesting. Many people I know are ‘cash rich‘ but ‘spending poor‘. What do I mean by that? They have good jobs that pay well, but they just don’t have a lot of monthly spending eligible for points collection. Even if they sign-up for the required credit cards and maximise their credit card use, the speed at which they collect points monthly is still (relatively) slow. Or some of them are just to busy (read: lazy) to go through the process of credit card points hacking, and are just looking for a way to get a deal.
The Hilton Honors Secret Sauce
Ingredient One: Bonus Points Offers
Hilton Honors allows members to purchase 80,000 points per year for $800 (1 cent per point). But every once in a while they have a bonus offer for points purchases. The one that comes around often is an 80% bonus. So if you purchase 80,000 points at $800, they gift you another 64,000. $800 divided by 144,000 (80,000 + 64,000) gives you an effective cost per point of 0.55 cents.
The one you really want is the 100% bonus offer which enables you to buy 160,000 points for $800 (0.5 cent per point). These offers are only sent to Hilton Honors members, so if you are not a member already, make sure you signup today!
It’s important that you signup for accounts for all members of your family. Remember there is a purchase cap per account so you will need multiple accounts to be able to purchase the amount of points you need.
Ingredient Two: Pool Your Points
The other great thing about the Hilton Honors program is that you can pool your points with up to 10 other members with no transfer fees involved. This is key because it’s no use having points scattered across multiple accounts — you need them all in one account to be able to redeem your stay!
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Room Recipe
- Make sure you and your family are Hilton Honors members.
- Purchase Hilton Honors points when 100% bonus points are offered.
- Pool your points into one member account.
Get To The Points!
Now that you know how to collect Hilton Honors points, it’s time to see how many you will need.
Remember that 95,000 points per night room rate we saw earlier? Well, if you purchased your points at 0.5 cent, then this room rate is effectively $475 per night. Cheaper than the best rate offered by the hotel!
I know what you are thinking — “You said I could book for US$380 per night!”
Yes, you can. Keep reading. 😀
5th Night Free
Hilton Honors has four different tiers: Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond
Silver, Gold and Diamond members receive the amazing benefit of every 5th night FREE when booking a reward stay of five nights or more using all Points.
For those of you with Hilton Honors Member (basic) status, don’t lose hope! It’s actually not very difficult to achieve Silver status. You just need to complete 4 Hilton hotel stays or 10 Hilton hotel nights in a calendar year.
Now do you understand why I chose five nights for our example stay? You stay for five nights but only redeem the points required for four nights. Here’s what it looks like when making an online reservation:
Consider yourself one of the fortunate who have learned the best (or worst?) kept secret. 380,000 points for a five night stay is effectively 76,000 per night — and at 0.5 cent per point that works out to $380 per night!